THE whole nation was shocked and aghast at the news of the Bukit Gantang bus tragedy at the wee hours of Aug 13, in which 20 people were killed.
We are told that the 37-year-old driver of the ill-fated bus had numerous summonses and even warrants of arrest for various traffic offences committed over the last six years.
It has also been revealed that the bus was not roadworthy.
This accident also unveiled a number of shortcomings under which our system operates.
1. Lack of coordination between JPJ, Puspakom, Commercial Vehicle Licensing Board (CVLB) and the police. They may work independently but the action of each is not in tandem with the others.
2. Puspakom inspects the vehicles for its roadworthiness and safety but says it has no authority to stop non-compliant buses from being on the road. How is the road tax renewed without its certification?
3. The CVLB not being able to trace and act against all errant bus operators due to its workload and technical constraints.
These deaths should never have occurred.
If only the authorities responsible had acted diligently according to the trust placed in them by the people.
It is frightening to know that there may be many more such irresponsible drivers and buses plying our highways every day.
They are nothing but potential “death traps.”
The authorities must act fast to take these dangerous vehicles off our roads before more people lose their lives.
The Transport Ministry must be firm in ensuring that bus operators adhere strictly to all the safety regulations that govern them.
DR CHRIS ANTHONY,
http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?fi ... &sec=focus